These employers know flexible working arrangements enable them to retain skilled staff and reduce recruitment costs; to raise their staff morale and decrease absenteeism; and to react to changing market conditions more effectively (EDIT). Butler, 2014) One key determinant of any organization’s ability to react adequately to a changing and questionable business environment is the flexibility and the adaptability of its workforce.
The flexibility of the workers is reflected in the ability of the employer too: recruitment or disposal of labor as required; adjust labor costs in accordance with the needs of the business; placing the labor efficiently inside the firm; and fix working hours which suits the requirements of the business. (Hilton, 2013, app) Flexible working is described as a type of working arrangement, which gives some flexibility on how long, where and hen employees work. The flexibility can be in terms of working time, working location and the pattern of working. Cupid. Co. UK, 2014) It can refer to employment flexibility in the employees work duration, where the work is carried out, when they worked and the period of leave taken from work. The term family friendly working is also used. Often it is intended to enable the employees to meet the demands of work and family. But the same practices of work can be used to enable those without the responsibilities of the family so as to combine work and other aspects of life outside work. As cited in (Houston, D. ND wampum’s, J. 2003, PA) Purcell concluded that flexible employment means different things for different occupational groups. It was found out that flexibility did facilitate labor market participation for certain groups, such as students who combine work with study. However for many it resulted in greater Job insecurity, with many flexible contracts having poor terms and conditions of employment. At the unskilled and the professional levels many flexible working contracts were found to be far from family friendly and resulted in workers having to extend their hours of work without any notice.
Houston and Wampum’s, 2003, pa) There are various benefits of flexible working; employers believe the provisions of flexible working arrangements have a positive impact in the areas of organizational performance. They feel that implementing these practices will have a positive impact in staff retention, employee motivation levels increase, and levels of employee engagement are affected in a positive way. From an employee perspective flexible working helps them attain a better work life balance, Flexible working helps manage caring responsibilities for children, it makes them more productive, lowers the stress bevels.
Flexible working helps the employees to stay healthy as they have time to exercise and make sensible choices of lifestyle. The percentages in fields n aspects like team working, knowledge sharing, innovation, recruitment, diversity of the workforce and customer service levels have gone up to considerable levels where the difference and the effectiveness can be seen. (Survey Report: Flexible Working Provision and Uptake, 2012) There are 6 types of flexibility. The first one is Part – Timeworn where anyone working less than 35 to 40 hours is considered to be a part time worker.
This type of working presents flexibility to the employer as well as the employee, as the employer can organize the part time employees to meet the peak times at work and release them when their requirement is not there. The employees get the freedom to spend time as they please, that is the time outside the contracted hours. Variations of the hours worked can be negotiated on a daily basis for more flexibility. Such variability depends on the cooperation and the goodwill from both the sides, so it is essential that the HER function make efforts to make sure that the employment relationship remains amicable.
The second one is Career Breaks, taking an extended break from the employment for varied reasons has become popular over the years, as more opportunities exist for the people to travel, study or to try alternate ways to earn a living. Career breaks are an excellent way to retain the staff, which the organization values when they leave for reasons of childcare or due to other family commitments. The third is Flexible Hours; it is an extension of more traditional part-time working towards flexible hours.
There are many models in practice like the annual hours contracts, where the employee fulfills the total numb f hours in a year; this is before any overtime payment is triggered. This kind of scheme gives flexibility again to meet variations in the workload, and is especially useful in seasonal occupations. All the flexi time agreements have a core period where the employees are to be present, typically from 10:00 to 16:00. Flexibility the is allowed typically between 07:00 and 19:00, whereby the employees can work earlier than the norms as required.
The employees can typically build up to bank f by clocking up extra hours. Fourth is Working from home, due to the use of appropriate technology, it is now easy for many employees to spend some part of heir time working from home. This element has various advantages for employees, like eliminating the costs of traveling or commuting, fitting the work with household commitments like being present for a delivery and allowing focus on specific tasks keeping away from the office distractions.
On the downside, the employees who woo from home may have problems as they might miss out on the important events hi they are away from their workplace. Finding an appropriate place to work at home can be a cause of difficulty, as it is not designed with the uses of work in mind. Fit is Working remotely which says work can be truly location independent when we extend flexible working to it’s limits, which simply means it does not have to be don only in one location. It is also termed as teleporting and is given to someone who able to work in this manner.
Where the Job role doesn’t require direct contact with the equipment or personal touch with the customers, there could be potential applying this form of flexibility. Working remotely still required supportive infrastructure and there has been suppliers who are willing to provide temporary serviced offices’ where the employees from different companies can work and take the advantage of shared facilities. Sixth and the final type of flexibility is Job sharing it is now increasingly becoming adopted generally because the private sector firms realize the gains, which can be made from the practice.
Most Job-sharers are female who have dependent children. The benefits are clear to them but there are advantages to the employers who favor Job-sharing. They can be increased retention of staff, higher levels of motivation, the reduction in absenteeism and greater continuity through holiday and sickness. On the downside the disadvantages of Job sharing includes resistance from the line managers, increase in the cost of training and the equipment provided, communication problems between the Job-sharers a finding the right match of Job-share partners.
There is no legal right to Job-share, b care must be taken to ensure that the employees act within the reason and do not fall foul of indirect discrimination in insisting that employees work full-time. (Streetwise and Ellis, 2005, IPPP-40) There are 5 approaches to labor flexibility. The first one is Functional Flexibility which is the capability of the workers to perform a angel of tasks, either horizontally (the employers are multi-skilled to do a wide ran of tasks on the same organizational level) or vertically (the employees have increase supervisory and managerial responsibility.
The second is Financial Flexibility where employee prize is linked to individual, team divisional performance, department, through such techniques as individual or performance related pay, bonuses, profit sharing and commission. Wage flexibility seeks to promote individual association wit the objectives of the organization, Join individual performance with that of the firm ND guarantee that the costs of the wage nearly match business and individual performance. Third one is Numerical Flexibility, which reflects the ability of the organization to alter the amount of workers it straightforwardly employs.
The firms seek the ability to hire, fire and re-hire the workers. This form of flexibility is linked with the use of short-term, temporary, casual, agency and self employed workers and also the sub-contracting and outsourcing of some activities. Fourth is Temporal Flexibility, which is the individual and the organizational ability to manipulate the umber and times of hours worked, and is linked with the non-standard work patterns those diverge from 9-5, 38 hours working week.
These arrangements consist of flexi-time, weekend work, part time work, shift work, overtime, call out, standby arrangements, term time working, seasonal working and compressed hours. Fifth and the last is Spatial Flexibility, which refers to the flexibility in the location of the employment through, for instance desk sharing, use of consultants, home working and teleporting. This is often implemented to reduce the overhead facilities costs to he employer or to respond to the work life balance demands of the workers. (Hilton, 2013, app) Work-Life balance isn’t Just about families and children. Nor is it about working less.
It is about smart working. About being fresh enough to provide you with all you need for home and work, without Jeopardizing one for the other. At whatever stage of life you might be, it is important for everyone. (Houston, 2005, Pl) All three words used in this greatly used expression have high ambiguity of meaning. The difference between non-work and work is frequently blurred by the extent to which we enjoy and like the task we are doing. Work could be similar with ‘effort’, as in ‘having a good work out’. Work relates with the time and energy the people contract to devote a third party in exchange for a reward.
This may incorporate voluntary work, where payback lies in psychosocial prizes. The word ‘life’ brings out a range of meanings, form life sentence to a simple existence. In relation to work-life balance, however, it is taken to be antithesis of work that is non-work. Life in reality includes a gathering of experiences, the chance to learn and experiment, having the capacity and the ability to build meaningful, fulfilling relationships and paradoxically, the hence to participate in fulfilling and meaningful activities to enjoy one’s work. Balance’ by and large suggests some sense of equity and reasonableness. Workaholics are thought to be unbalanced because they do not comply to the expected norms about how and where they invest their energy and time, it is the same way an individual with COD is seen to be dysfunctional. Reasonableness is very much in the eyes of the beholder- a workaholic could be more fulfilled that his laid- back counterpart who has no passionate interests. Equity is not an essential component of balance.
Some people feel that they lead a balanced life, might still Penn longer at work. The way that there is a clash between work and non-work does not imply that there is a feeling of imbalance. There must be a real impact for it to be an issue. What matters is the ability of an individual to resolve such issues. Work-life balance is defined as the state where an individual manages real conflicts between different demands of his time and energy in a way that satisfies his needs for well- being and self-fulfillment. Cluttered, 2003, pa) High performance work systems (HAPS) refers to an HARM approach which tries to evoke employee commitment to and involvement with the goals and objectives of the organizations so that the individual’s behavior is self-controlled as opposed to be controlled by pressures. This model is central in the field of HARM. As cited by Whitener in (Bellman-Martin, Orca-Pogo, Escrow-Teen and Bob-Illus., 2008, p. 4) the aim of HAPS is to increase effectiveness and productivity and rely on the conditions, which help employees to identify with the goals of the firm and to work hard to achieve those goals.
High performance work systems comprise of 5 factors, namely: selective staffing, comprehensive training, developmental performance, equitable reward systems and performance based pay. Bellman-Martin, Orca-Pogo, Escrow- Teen and Bob-Illus., 2008, p. 17) HAPS, sometimes known as high commitment organizations are the organizations, which use a different managerial approach that enables high performance through the people. These organizations use a different approach to manage than those hierarchical traditional approaches associated with scientific management. Timer, N. D. ) I believe that both the employers and the employees win from workplace flexibility. Although there are some arguments, which are in the favor of the employer as cited in (Hilton, 2013) Flatfooted argues that in the intent of employment relationship, flexibility is for the employer and of the employer, and, subsequently, whilst there are undeniable benefits for labor from certain forms of flexibility- where there are mutual gains to be had from both parties Flexibility cannot be seen as unequivocally good from an employee perspective.
The approach of workplace flexibility is like a win-win situation for both the employees and the employer. It depends who is being asked the question as the employer will be happy to talk about his benefits from workplace flexibility and when the employees are asked, they will talk about their benefits, which they attain and achieve from workplace flexibility. The benefits due to the introduction and execution of workplace flexibility can never be same for both, still both employees and the employers have perks from it in their own ways and due to their own reasons.
The businesses nowadays have realized that the most important resource is the humans, that is the workers who work for them, ‘Human Resources’. No business can flourish and survive if this most important resource is not taken care of or adhered to wisely and in the correct way. They in turn make a big difference in the organizations capability to survive. The needs of both employers and employees are met. The employers use workplace flexibility for their own benefit, which in turn has benefits for the employees too, keeping both the sides contended.
The employees attain a better work-life balance where they have time for themselves and for their families and the employers keep the employees happy and content this way. Workplace flexibility is a very neat approach which when seen from a global work culture perspective is very legitimate and beneficial. It has brought about a revolution wrought the work industry around the globe. To conclude, the above research develops an understanding that flexibility is a contested concept where some of the practices and activities benefit the employers and some benefit the employees.